What Works Cities is an initiative of the Bloomberg Philanthropies that helps cities enhance their use of data and evidence to improve their services. Lincoln was fortunate last year to be selected as one of the cities (57 so far) to receive technical assistance from the initiative.
Part of that assistance is in the form of training, and today we are hosting Eric Reese, from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence, GovEx. Eric is leading a training session on performance management for about 130 City of Lincoln staff: department directors, their assistants, and senior managers. The purpose of this training is to help us further enhance our performance management process, exemplified by Taking Charge, Lincoln's outcome-based budgeting process.
Tomorrow, both the audience that the topic changes to open data. Lincoln is joining the nationwide open data movement, and our open data governance committee will be participating in what we are calling an Open Data Boot Camp: a half day to get every one up to speed on the concepts, purpose, practices, and opportunities surrounding open data. The governance committee is composed of 17 City staff and citizens from several walks of life.
I'm leading the City's open data initiative, at least for the moment, because of my interest in data. Greater transparency with police data was a recommendation of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and anyone who has read my blog for any part of the past decade knows that I'm mighty interested in using data and analysis to guide operations. Lincoln already makes lots of data and information available to the public, but we intend to do even more, and to transition to more data made available in machine-readable format that can be easily downloaded and employed by anyone interested.
We are looking forward to a couple of days of engaging, interesting, and productive training. City Council member Leirion Gaylor Baird is largely responsible for Lincoln's selection as a What Works City, and the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Rick Hoppe, has been doing the heavy lifting for organizing both this training and the City's interface with the initiative.